Engineer Cameel Halim made his fortune and his reputation as a real estate developer with a special interest in rehabilitating historic buildings in the Chicago area. In 2005, Cameel Halim saved a 1908 Kenilworth building known as Skiff House from being torn down, maintaining its status as an integral part of the area’s history.
The house was built for the first director of Chicago’s Field House Museum, Frederick Skiff, and designed by the famed Chicago architectural firm of Daniel H. Burnham. Its owner, Antoinette Vigilante, had purchased the house a year previous, and had planned to demolish it when it wouldn’t sell for her original asking price of $2.5 million. Preservationists in Kenilworth fought to keep the structure standing, but everything inside the house had been auctioned off, including the bannisters, which were sawed off while bidders looked on.
An agreement was reached just a week before the house was to be torn down.
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